Sunday, November 20, 2011

Honest Holiday Feelings

As I sit here and listen to "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas," I sweat and look at the palm trees in my backyard. As I read people's status & see pictures on Facebook, fall leaves, cooler weather, special Christmas coffees, pretty wrapping paper, yummy holiday desserts, I sweat and look at my palm trees and am reminded just how far away I am from all I've known, from all that makes holidays, holidays. In most of my posts & articles, I try to be encouraging, sharing what the Lord is doing in my life, but today I am just going to be honest. I am having a hard time.
This marks our third holiday season here in the Philippines. As Thanksgiving is not a celebrated holiday here and fall does not exist, I have tried my best to make things fally. As Christmas approaches, rainy season ends and hot season bursts forth full blast. For some reason this year, it has just been harder than previous years being away from "home." Little frustrations such as not being able to find Christmas pajamas for my kids or no Christmas sprinkles for cookies have left me in tears. The shower is my cry spot. I have frequented it regularly the past few weeks. I find myself longing for coats, hats, scarves, & fuzzy boots. Christmas shopping at the mall, Christmas lights, pretty wrapping paper, Starbucks Christmas coffee, blustery winds, snow...being able to go to the store and find the ingredients for even one recipe in my Christmas cookbook...but, alas. I live on an island in the Pacific Ocean. I wish these things didn't bother me and I could be a good missionary like I'm supposed to be. I mean I knew what I was getting into, right?
I know what holidays are really about and that like Steven Curtis Chapman sings, "Christmas is all in the heart." But when Michael W Smith & Josh Groben sing, "The happiest Christmas is a homecoming Christmas," & "I'll Be Home for Christmas," I just sit and cry.
All this to say, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because I know this is where God wants me to be and great peace comes with that, but please pray for me. I need the Lord's comfort...even though these things seem silly sometimes. Right now they are a big deal to me. And right now, I am so thankful that nothing is too trivial or silly to call on the Lord for. He knows every detail of my heart and mind and nothing is too small for Him.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pull-My-Hair Out Days

Today has just been one of those days...
I was up all night with Josh as he was running fever, sweating, and going back and forth to the bathroom. We were supposed to have a flight this morning, so my morning started at 5:00 with texting to say that we would have to cancel the flight. My kids got up at their normal time of 6:30 just after I had got back to sleep. I headed to the hospital with Josh as soon as he woke up and the final verdict is amoeba. For those of you who don't know, amoeba is single-celled organism that you ingest by drinking contaminated water or food. We're not sure where he got it.
Elsie, our house-helper, left to go up and visit her family for a few days, so my kids have been out of sorts without her here. I have been out of sorts without her here. I have another lady here to help with the kids, but she isn't as familiar with their routine. When I took Josh to the hospital this morning, I came home to huge messes and crackers smashed all over the floor. Yeah. Just one of those days.
I went to the gym this afternoon to run it all out and started thinking. I was in a bad mood and feeling sorry for myself because of all the unfortunate circumstances of today and I realized- "Who am I thinking about? Me, me, me." One of those- "Wow, am I selfish," moments.
So all this to say, the Lord is still God, still faithful, and the world is still spinning round even though I've had a pull-my-hair day. Thank you, Lord, for being faithful, even when I am not.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Dalton Summer

I guess technically, it never ceases to be summer here. That's one thing I think I will never really like- knowing that fall and winter will never come.

It has been a lovely, but busy summer. After flying the wings off the plane (not really) in June and a much needed two week break, things have simmered down a bit to a much more sane schedule.

We went on our first family vacation ever for a weekend to a gorgeous beach resort here on our island. We spent hours in the pool and on the beach, taking naps, building sandcastles and drinking yummy shakes. It was so good to not have texts coming in non-stop and be away from the busyness of everyday life.

We celebrated my 28th (ah!!!) birthday in July. The kids picked out presents for me from a little souvenir shop and did quite a good job at that. I have a special flower ring from Little Josh that warms my heart everytime I look at it. He checks everyday to see if I am wearing it.
On my birthday

Izzy & I
We've had quite a few medical flights this summer which aren't very fun. One in particular. Some good friends of our have an adorable baby girl, Izzy, who is almost 1 year old. She is my adopted niece and calls me "Pup" just like all my other nieces and nephews do (please don't ask how I got that name). :) She got very sick with malaria and severe kidney and bladder infections. They live in one of the tribal locations that we fly for. The weather was horrible the day Josh had to fly in and we weren't sure he was going to make it in and back out. But our faithful Lord made a hole in the clouds and he was able to get in and get Izzy and her mommy and daddy out and back to town before a huge tropical storm hit our island. She is much better now after meds and some rest- so thankful to the Lord.

Josh was also able to go into one of the tribes and help some other missionary friends of ours put up their solar system in their new house. He enjoyed working out there and has got to know some of the tribal people that he sees often as he flies into the different locations. The tribal people have actually given him nicknames. I guess bald heads aren't very common- "Tinapay" is one, which means "bread". Apparently, they think his head looks like a loaf of bread. So funny. I continue to be amazed at all the ways the Lord has blessed Josh and the many ways he is able to help people. The Lord truly prepared him from the time he was a child to do the job that He had in mind for him.
Had everyone over during conference

A couple weeks ago, we participated in our first regional conference here on our island. All the missionaries from our region gathered together for a time of worship, sharing, and meetings. It was great to have everyone in town and be able to here what the Lord is doing all over this island. We are so blessed to be able to be a part of His work here!

Next month, we will be attending another conference in the city for all the aviation people here in the Philippines. It will be another great time to see all our friends, the guys to talk airplane stuff, and the wives to get some much needed girl time. A lot of us have been through all the training together and are now scattered all over the country, so it will be such a blessing to all be together again.

Heading to the gym
The day after conference ends, my mom and two of my sisters are coming to visit us! They will be the first visitors we've had from home and the kids are so excited they can hardly stand it. We made a paper chain months ago and they have slowly watched it get smaller and smaller. It will be great to be able to show my family where we live and what our country is like.

On a different note, Josh and I discovered a gym in town and with the help of some knowledgeable friends, have started running 3 times a week. We have really enjoyed doing this together and it has become something we look forward too. It has become a time of worship for me and a time to focus on the Lord and how amazing He is.

You know how we all go through dry times and times of rich blessing and learning- this summer has been rich for me. The Lord has been teaching me so much and it has been so good to feel Him close.
I hope you all have a blessed rest of your summer!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

When He is Gone...

Whether he is actually gone on a trip, working 70-80 hour work-weeks, or home, but "not really there", how do you cope? Josh has been working with a friend on the airplane all week long and we basically have said "Hi" and "Bye." The last few months have been like this with hardly one day break in between. I naturally find myself just planning everyday as if he will not be there or involved at all. Do you find yourself getting lonely? Do you just throw in the towel and decide to let your house go and your kids scream or do you micro-manage even more? My honey-do list just gets longer everyday and I find myself trying to tackle some of the things on it myself.  This is definitely a learning and stretching time and a time of constantly relying on the Lord. It has helped me to come to know that Lord more as a friend and companion. I know a lot of you know where I am coming from and I was just curious as to how the Lord has shown you how to deal with this.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Very Long Time...

So it's been almost a year since I posted. It has been a crazy, crazy year. A couple moves later, I feel like I am finally settled enough to maybe keep up my blog. I've gone back and forth on whether or not I should actually have one- if I have enough to write about and if what I write would be interesting to anyone. But, sometimes just unloading how I'm feeling or how my day was is the only way I can de-stress. All that to say, I will be posting more often. :) So check back if you feel like it or want to know what God is doing in our lives over here in the Philippines.